Coordinating an estate plan for your special needs child

Caring for a special needs child requires added vigilance in planning for his or her future. Careful coordination of your desires for his or her care, as well as disclosing which resources you foresee providing required support, may enable your surviving family members to adequately care for the person you love.

An estate plan designed for your special needs child may look different than the options you have seen before. Your acknowledgment of the need for a customized plan that accounts for your lifestyle and the unique needs of your child will guarantee that your plan functions optimally in providing for your dependent child.

Problems with a hybrid approach

You may have heard of a hybrid approach to planning an estate for your special needs child. According to Forbes, this method of planning is when you disinherit your special needs child and award or gift all of your assets to your other children or to your special needs child’s caretaker. Some people feel that disinheriting their special needs child leaves more of an inheritance to the people who will end up caring for him or her. However, there are three primary reasons why this may backfire on you including the following:

  • If your child or children divorce, the inheritance you gifted them to help care for their special needs sibling is subject to asset division and a portion of it may end up with the ex.
  • Your children are not legally required to care for your special needs child and if they lack any feeling of moral obligation, their special needs sibling may have nothing left.
  • If the children you have left your inheritance to have to file for bankruptcy, creditors may require some of those funds to repay debts.

Implementing a trust

Using a trust is an invaluable way to plan for your special needs child’s future. You can establish a personalized method of providing cashflow by filtering funds from your life insurance policy or other trusts. With monitored and controlled dissemination of those funds, you may feel more confident about the well-being of your special needs child. For more information about planning an estate, please visit our webpage.

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Kevin Tharpe

With 25 years of experience, Kevin understands how estate planning, special needs planning, and government benefits programs work together. This is a crucial element of a thorough plan. He explains your eligibility for benefits programs and ensures that you do not make costly mistakes that may disqualify you or deplete your assets.

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